Oops, that’s not my car
‘‘I rang the police and told them I thought some lady had accidentally stolen my car.’’
When Alex Hinchliffe found his car missing, he thought his mates had stitched him up again.
The Porirua man had parked outside his friend’s food truck in Paremata, to get dinner on the way to rugby training.
Burger in hand, he headed back to his car at Browns Bay and found an empty space where he had left it.
‘‘I actually thought one of the boys had nicked it to teach me a lesson, because I’m always leaving my keys in it.’’
It was when he noticed another car, just like his dark blue 2010 Hyundai i45 elite, a couple of spaces away, that he began to get suspicious.
‘‘I asked a guy sitting in his car if he saw someone nick mine, and he said a lady had just got in and driven away.’’
Hinchliffe, 22, rang police and gave them the licence number of the car that was left in the car park.
‘‘I told them I thought some lady had accidentally stolen my car.
‘‘They had a bloody good laugh and said it was the funniest thing that had happened all day.’’
By this time, the woman driving a car that wasn’t hers had made it all the way home to Upper Hutt, stopping to refuel on the way.
‘‘It wasn’t until the cops called her at her house and asked if she’d realised she was driving someone else’s car that she twigged.
‘‘She also only put $30 [of petrol] in it, which was a bit rude. She should have filled it up. The light was on.’’
He was happy to excuse the car-napper for her mistake, despite the fact his rugby gear was on the back seat and his belongings in the front.
‘‘Apparently her kids sometimes drive her car, so maybe she just thought they’d changed the radio station and pushed the seat all the way back.’’
The car was a push-button start and he always left the keys in the centre console, so all she would have had to do was press the button, he said.
All in all, it took only an hour for his car to be driven back to him.
‘‘Everyone had a bit of a laugh’’, he said.
‘‘What Kiwi hasn’t taken a car that doesn’t belong to them?’’
Asked if he would continue to leave his keys in the car, he was adamant.
‘‘Yup, and knowing me it will probably happen again.
‘‘This stuff just kind of does.’’